ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — A Pennsylvania constable is facing several new charges and is accused of using his position to manipulate a woman into giving him hundreds of dollars.
Five months ago, Anthony Cioppa was arrested and charged in a scheme very similar to this latest one. Police said he previously preyed on a woman fighting for the custody of her children and got thousands of dollars out of her.
"He was nickel and diming me. All of a sudden, it was $200, $300," Stafford said. "All of a sudden I was at $800 in one week."
This time, Allegheny County police said Cioppa told Cheyanna Stafford he could use his connections with lawyers and judges to get custody of her children.
Stafford told Channel 11 that Cioppa went as far as to help her craft a plan to take her children from their grandmother -- who had custody of them – saying, "It's time for a snatching."
Police said Stafford questioned whether or not that plan was right, but Cioppa assured her that, as a constable, the court was aware of everything.
"He told me it was going to be reported and that he would have to write up a report that they are being abused," said Stafford.
Stafford told Channel 11 she was told to buy three plane tickets and to "get the hell out of PA," so she took off from the Pittsburgh International Airport and headed to Utah with the kids.
She was arrested for violating custody and served seven months in jail.
Stafford said she was afraid to ever say anything about Cioppa, but she kept all paperwork and text messages.
"He ruined my whole family's lives. He robbed me of every holiday with my babies," she said.
A warrant is currently out for Cioppa's arrest. He is facing eight new charges.
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